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Highway Director Resigns

Seach Starts For Position That

Oversees Roads, Transportation, Solid Waste

By Deb Hadachek, Telescope News


     Republic County Highway Administrator Dusty Zenger has resigned his position effective May 21, 2020. 

     Zenger has Accepted a position as public works director for the City of Edwardsville, a community of about 4,500 people in western Wyandotte County. His fiance Lexia Aurand, a Belleville native, is a medical student at the University of Kansas medical school in Kansas City.

     Edwardsville is separated from the Kansas Speedway by I-70, and encompasses an area of about nine square miles, Zenger said.

     Zenger has held the Republic County position, which oversees the highway department, public transportation and solid waste since early 2015.  The higway administrator is resposible for about one-third of Republic County's total $12 million in expenditures each year.

     Within a few months after Zenger started here, on May 6, 2015, a dozen tornadoes and a 9 1/2" deluge damaged roads and washed out two bridges.

     "I want to thank everyone for this opportunity," Zenger told Republic County commissioners Monday morning.  "I'm really proud of what we've accomplished, and we're starting to really see some of the changes in the last year. We've turned a lot of corners.  The transition (to a new director) is important to me."  He told commissioners he would remain available to answer questions in the future.

     Zenger commended highway department employees, who are responsible to maintain 1,200 miles of county roads.

     "With what we do in Republic County, you don't just snap your fingers and see change." he said.

     Commissioner Melvin Jeardoe noted that he has been pleased with the work he has seen accomplished by road maintainer operators this spring.

     "They're working on the crowns in the road, eliminating the eybrows, cleaning out ditches," he said.  "Our insistence on that is really paying off."

     Zenger said in the next two weeks he will develop lists of contacts for supervisors of the depaartments within his department to continue current projects until a new highway administrator is hired.  Commissioners discussed options for interim supervision of the department.